Photography: Why do I do it?
The title of this post should say it all. I'm going to talk about why I practice photography.
When I first started becoming interested in photography, my reasons were simple: I could enter contests, get exposure, sell my work. This could really help me when I start going to college!
Then all of a sudden, I was in college, and photography hadn't helped me at all. Money wise, at least. I grew disheartened, and my fiery passion for photography started to slowly go out. I was still taking photographs, but my initial reasons why I started felt irrelevant to me because it felt like no one was interested in what I was doing. I made a few sales on some photo prints, but that was it. But I hadn't given up yet. I started to ask myself questions: Do I need to be more vocal on social media? Do I need to talk about it more in general? I don't want to spam people, but how do I let them know about my work without being spammy? Should I start a photo book to earn a little more? I started to answer these little by little, but everything came to a sudden halt when one day, my laptop started acting funny.
By funny, it wouldn't turn on. I tried plugging the charger in, figuring it just wasn't charged enough to turn on, but that didn't work either. After a lot of searching on my phone, I came to the conclusion that my laptop was, in fact, dead. And, I hadn't backed up any of my newest pictures. I was hoping against all hope that when it was taken into the shop, somehow, my pictures could be recovered. But they couldn't. And I had to shell out a bunch of money to fix a computer I didn't want anymore because all my new (and old) pictures were gone. I'd have to start all over, and I didn't want to.
My problem was that I was (and still have been) focusing on making money to help me with college and other personal needs. I started practicing my photography again for the same reason as before. But it wasn't until yesterday that I sat down and asked myself why I practice photography. If it was just to gain a little cash, then photography wouldn't really be my passion, as I've been claiming for the past several years. However, when I sat down last night, I figured out some reasons as to why I practice photography.
- It lets me be creative. This is very obvious, but I had gotten so caught up in making money for my photos that I forgot! I can look at something and come up with an idea as to how I can make a good picture out of it. Or, I have an idea in my head and I can replicate that idea as best I can with the equipment available to me. I can also improvise if I don't have the "proper" equipment. I will experiment on something again and again until I get what I want, or it just doesn’t work out.
- It helps me be productive. Photography is an art. There's a lot of technical work that goes in to getting a really good photo. I'm not an expert, but I know some of the technical things in the camera that will help a photographer get a high quality picture. I apply these things as best as I can, and try to improve every time I go shooting. Further, there's equipment photographers can use that will help even more in getting a high quality photo. (lights, soft box, reflectors, etc.). I have some equipment, and it's one of my goals to learn how to use it so I can produce better photographs.
- It takes my mind off things I may be worrying about. Focusing on something like photography is a great way to take a break; it distracts me from whatever problems real life is throwing at me. I suffer from anxiety, and I have days where it's not too bad. But then I have days where it really, really sucks. By focusing my attention on sharpening my photography skills, I don't think about how anxious I am about something. Additionally, coupling photography with writing, like I'm doing now, also keeps my mind occupied.
- I simply enjoy it. Photography stops time. It captures a moment and preserves it for an eternity. That's how I look at it, at least. When I look back on my old pictures, whether it's of my best friend when I took her senior graduation portraits, or a picture of my cat, it takes me back. It's a time machine that teleports your mind to what happened in that particular moment.
I hope you all are having a great day/evening today. I will see you in the next post!